Saturday, February 2, 2008

Road ragin'

"I don't have road rage, but other drivers do.... and that makes me REALLY MAD!"
Me, circa 2001

Yes, I coined that gem while at work several years ago, and my friend Angie still, to this day, can do a hilarious reenactment of the event. 

Not so amusing, though, is that a few days ago my husband was the victim of a frightening incident involving road rage. He was nearly hit by another driver in a red Pontiac who failed to stop at a stop sign. To get the other driver's attention, my husband immediately honked at him. And unfortunately the other driver didn't take too kindly to that.

The Pontiac's driver proceeded to cut off another vehicle in order to then ride my husband's bumper before changing lanes and then cutting back in front of him. The driver then stopped his vehicle in the middle of rush hour traffic -- forcing my husband to stop behind him -- as he turned on his four-way flashers so his passenger could get out. 

The Pontiac's passenger, who literally appeared to either be drooling or frothing at the mouth (drug addictions can do that to a person, or so I hear), stormed toward our vehicle, fists raised and mouth-a-cursin', and started pounding on my husband's driver's side window. The incident was over within a few minutes, but it left my husband understandably shaken.

But, sadly, this isn't the worst of it.

My husband filed an official complaint with the Edmonton Police Service (EPS), but after having read his statement, the officer in charge proclaimed, "Well, this was really your fault, you know." And he said it more than loud enough for everyone in the waiting area to hear him. 

"I'm saying this out loud so everyone can hear me: You should never honk at other motorists, because it upsets them."

While I will concede his last statement -- yes, we all know no one likes to be honked at -- I'm appalled that he would suggest my husband was somehow to blame for all this.

It was NOT my husband's fault that this moron ran a stop sign and nearly hit him. 

It was NOT my husband's fault that said moron was too clueless to even realize he had just broken the law. 

And it was NOT my husband's fault that this clueless moron and his passenger clearly have anger management issues and should not be behind the wheel.

Under normal circumstances, I am a staunch supporter of the EPS. When stories of alleged police wrong-doing pass through the newsroom that need proofing, I'm constantly giving the benefit of the doubt to the officer's involved. I know that police work is often unforgiving, and many of our local detachments are understaffed. Their officers are overworked and underpaid, and they do the best they can with the resources they have.

But we could have done without the arrogance today.

I know the routine. My husband knows the routine. But, please, save the attitude for actual "bad guys" who are breaking the law, not those of us simply trying to bring some justice back to our roads.

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